Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius on Wednesday deflected charges that the administration misled the American people about being able to keep their health plans under ObamaCare -- claiming that despite thousands of cancellation notices, the White House is keeping its promise.
Sebelius testified at a House hearing that originally was called to address the glitch-ridden ObamaCare website. Sebelius personally apologized for those failures and told lawmakers: "Hold me accountable for the debacle. I'm responsible."
But Republicans also used the opportunity to press Sebelius on President Obama's repeated claims that people who like their current health plans can keep them under the new law. Thousands of cancellation notices going out to consumers have sharply challenged that claim.
"The news seems to get worse by the day," Rep. Fred Upton, R-Mich., chairman of the House Energy and Commerce Committee, said at the start of the hearing before his committee. From the outset, Upton grilled Sebelius on those notices, asking why a change was made allowing certain insurance policies to be ruled ineligible under ObamaCare.
Sebelius, however, claimed: "There was no change."
Sebelius laid out a highly nuanced position.
The secretary denied that Obama had broken his promise and claimed that for the most part, people who had coverage as of March 2010 can keep their current plans -- provided their insurance companies haven't changed them significantly. That wrinkle, however, was rarely explained by Obama before now.